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What to Ask Before Buying a Used Car

It’s no secret that used cars are much more affordable than their brand new counterparts. In fact, many times a late-model used car costs only half that of a brand new one. But to ensure you get a quality vehicle that lasts, you need to know what to look for.

Here are some specific questions to ask when buying a used car:

How many miles does it have?

This is a great starting point because it should give you a sense of how far the previous owners have pushed it. According to experts, most people drive an average of 12,000 miles per year. So by that math, a car that’s 10 years old should have around 120,000 miles on it.

If it’s significantly more than that, there’s likely to be excessive wear and tear, and you’ll probably want to look at a different vehicle. However, if it’s less or equal to that, it’s worth looking closer at.

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Has it been involved in any serious accidents?

While a minor fender bender won’t likely disqualify a car for consideration, it’s always a red flag when there’s been a major accident — especially multiple ones. This is always a concern and could potentially lead to serious problems later on.

If you know for a fact that a used car has been in any big accidents, it’s probably not worth the risk.

Are there any major mechanical problems?

A lot of used cars will have a minor issue here or there. And that’s generally okay.

But if there are any major mechanical problems, involving key parts like the transmission, alternator, or brakes, that’s definitely a cause for concern. If that’s the case, you’ll likely want to back off and check out other options.

What’s the ownership history?

It’s also nice to have a transparent view of who’s owned the car, when, and for how long. Ideally, there will only be a single owner who’s cared for the car for several years. What you don’t want is several owners or someone who’s only had it for a short period of time, as that’s often another red flag.

Is the service history available?

Finally, you’ll want to look for a vehicle that 1) has a service history (not all used cars do) and 2) shows signs of consistent care. This greatly increases your odds of finding a winner that will be dependable.

When you’re looking for a high-quality used car, be sure to visit Luxury Automotive Club. We have an outstanding collection of high-end pre-owned inventory, and all our models are NIADA Certified, which means you get a warranty just like you would from an OEM dealer. We’re located at 6107 Northern Blvd in Woodside, and you can reach us by phone at 718-737-7626 or through our online contact form.

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